UNC – A Man of the Community (Documentary film)
A treasured aboriginal elder’s journey from darkness towards healing
Aboriginal elder Uncle Ivan Wellington is a treasured member of the Campbelltown community but few may be aware of his powerful journey of hope and healing.
This documentary journeys with Uncle Ivan over his colourful life as he passes on traditional wisdom and hard-learned life lessons in his mission for reconciliation and support of the younger generation.
Born in Kiama in August 1946, Uncle Ivan Wellington is a proud Jerrinja man. As a baby, he and his parents and six brothers and sisters went to live on a mission in Shoalhaven under the rule of the Aboriginal Protection Board.
Displacement from their land and attempts to eradicate their language and culture all led to a great deal of anger inside him which took him on a journey of healing around New South Wales where he put his demons to rest.
Settling in Campbelltown over 30 years ago, Uncle Ivan soon endeared himself to the community by assisting many young people as an Aboriginal mentor for the Juvenile Justice Department and Elder on Campus at UWS.
He has played a leading role in strengthening reconciliation among all multicultural communities especially through the annual Appin Massacre Memorial Ceremony, education programs in schools and inspiring smoking ceremonies.
Many honours have been awarded to Uncle Ivan over the years, including the naming of Uncle Ivan Wellington Lounge at Campbelltown Hospital in 2013. He was the first Aboriginal person to get Campbelltown’s Heritage Medallion in 2014, Citizen of the Year in 2021 and was thrilled to be awarded Campbelltown’s Elder of the Year 2018.
A humble man, Uncle Ivan Wellington continues to do what he does because he knows the important role elders must play in a community. He provides simple and clear understandings into Aboriginal culture for people from all nationalities, focussing on three truths: See the land, the beauty; Hear the land, the story; Feel the land, the spirit.
UNC – A Man of the Community is a Brian Laul & Frank Michel film, produced by Rainbow Crossing Inc.
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